There is a lot of unrest in the search marketing industry at the moment, with an increasing number of experts and website owners becoming frustrated about some of the tactics that Google is starting to adopt in its pursuit of web spam. Fortunately, this article is going to make us briefly forget these, and instead concentrate on something which the big G seems to be nailing to a tee.
Local search is the issue in question and as anyone who has studied this area will tell you, it’s something that can make a considerable difference to small businesses. For a long time, we were used to hearing how a lot of search terms were dominated by the large corporations. Through the local search phenomenon, it’s now possible for the smaller firms to target their area and improve their brick and mortar business considerably.
To make matters a little more complicated, the factors used to distinguish the rankings for both local and standard search terms are contrasting to say the least. As such, we’re now going to delve into several of the most important ones, in a bid to hopefully push your firm to local prominence.
Your physical address
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can really influence and many believe that it’s a major drawback of local searches. It’s understood that Google provides a bigger emphasis to those businesses which are located “centrally”. For example, if you are looking for plumbers in Ipswich, those firms that are located in the Ipswich city centre will immediately be at an advantage.
Citations are a huge part of the whole local SEO picture, and getting your brand featured on the main ones in your area is absolutely paramount to high rankings. For this reason, it can sometimes be a good idea to use a local marketing agency, if you have already taken the plunge to outsource your marketing work. For example, taking the Ipswich case study again, in this scenario it might be useful to use a firm like SEOmers.com who are used to dealing with local businesses, and subsequently know which local citations to chase.
On-site factors are huge in standard SEO, and it’s the same for the local scenario as well. Making sure that your city is contained in your page title is a crucial tip to follow, while some sources believe that adding your address to your footer can help in this regard as well.
Quality of reviews
Long before the internet, we all relied on recommendations from friends. Whether it was a decent restaurant in the local area, or the best mechanic, word-of-mouth was the most effective method of marketing. This has now translated to the online picture, with a lot of local SEO built on user reviews.
Naturally, a lot of emphasis is placed on the quantity and quality of Google+ reviews. The more you have, the better, although other sources such as Yelp and Yell can also contribute. As such, do everything you can to request feedback from your users – although make sure that you don’t break the Google terms of service in relation to soliciting for reviews.
As you can see, cracking the local SEO code is getting more complicated by the month. There are countless ranking factors that are now utilised, although this post has just ciphered through the four that are the most crucial in getting a local business to the top of the SERPS. If you can follow these, the chances of succeeding in your local area will improve drastically.